Research among 2,000 Britons for OpenMoney’s second annual advice gap report invited respondents to share what came to mind on hearing the term ‘financial advice’.
Frequent words were ‘expensive’, followed by ‘untrustworthy’, with the likes of ‘scam’, ‘con’, ‘rip-off’ and ‘money grabbing’ also prevalent.
While positive words were used by many respondents, with ‘managing money’ a common association along with ‘help’, ‘expert’ and ‘trust’, they were largely outweighed by the negatives.
The report also highlighted that many people find it difficult to differentiate between regulated advice and generic guidance.
According to OpenMoney, there was a “theme of distrust” around the impartiality of advice and the value it provides.
Just 10% of respondents had paid for financial advice in the last two years (which is unchanged from 2019) and 79% of those said they would be unlikely to do so in future (up from 77% last year).
When asked what would need to change to encourage this group to pay for advice: 34% said they would need to be sure it would save them money overall, 22% would need to earn more, 28% would need to trust the advice, 18% would need to be sure how to pick the right advice, and for 15% it would need to cost less.
Anthony Morrow, CEO of OpenMoney, said: “Despite the negative perceptions of financial advice, when people take specialist money advice the vast majority have a good experience. If the industry is to close the advice gap and help improve people’s financial futures, we first need to tackle the perception gap.
"All too often when people think of financial advice, they think ‘expensive’, ‘untrustworthy’ and ‘scam’. Changing these negative associations and promoting the positive work our industry does is crucial to ensuring that more people access regulated financial advice and make the most of their money today and for the long-term.”
YouGov research: total sample size was 2081 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 9 – 10 March 2020. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).